Your Guide to Treating Diabetes

This content is created by Healthgrades and brought to you by an advertising sponsor. More

This content is created or selected by the Healthgrades editorial team and is funded by an advertising sponsor. The content is subject to the Healthgrades medical review process for accuracy, balance and objectivity. The content is not edited or otherwise influenced by the advertisers appearing on this page except with the possible suggestion of the broad topic area. For more information, read the Healthgrades advertising policy.

How to Get the Most Out of a Virtual Doctor Visit for Diabetes

Was this helpful?
(2)
middle age man smiling at smartphone with laptop, working or socializing

If you’ve set up a telehealth appointment for your diabetes, you’re taking advantage of a great way to stay on top of your blood glucose, keep it in good control, and avoid complications. Telehealth allows you to connect with your doctor via phone call, text message, or most commonly, video chat. You can expect an appointment with your endocrinologist online to be similar to an in-person appointment. You may even feel more relaxed than you would sitting in a waiting room and find it easier to remember your questions. In either scenario, you can help your doctor help you by “arriving” prepared.

Using telehealth for diabetes: review your self-management plan.

Self-management is a big part of controlling diabetes symptoms. If you have a self-management plan that you created with your doctor, re-visit it before your virtual doctor visit and flag any challenges you’ve struggled with since your last appointment. If you don’t have a self-management plan, ask your doctor to help you create one. A plan commonly includes tasks such as: 

  • Taking medications every day
  • Testing your blood glucose regularly
  • Following an exercise routine
  • Sticking to a healthy diet

Reflect on the highs and lows. 

Know what good blood glucose control looks like for you as you’re living with diabetes. Do your A1C and home blood sugar measurements indicate good control, cause for concern, or reason to react? Write down your top few thoughts in advance of your virtual doctor visit and be prepared to discuss them.

Don’t wait until your next appointment to tell your doctor about symptoms of hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia. Symptoms of hypoglycemia are:

 

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Shaking
  • Sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Headache
  • Mental confusion

Symptoms of hyperglycemia are:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Blurred vision

Note any issues with devices, software, or processes.

Have you had any problems using treatment devices such as an insulin pump? If you’re also using telemonitoring equipment to measure vital signs like heart rate and blood pressure, have there been any issues? Let your healthcare team know in advance of your appointment.

It’s also good to make sure the devices and software you’ll be using for your virtual video visit are in working order ahead of time. Be sure to keep pen and paper handy for questions and keeping notes.

 

With the right preparation, telehealth can help you continue to stay on top of your diabetes and your overall health.

Was this helpful?
(2)
Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Last Review Date: 2020 May 19
  1. Using Telemedicine to Improve Outcomes in Diabetes—An Emerging Technology. US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2769943/
  2. In Living Color: Extending Your Practice’s Reach Via Telehealth. Endocrine Society. https://endocrinenews.endocrine.org/in-living-color-extending-your-practices-reach-via-telehealth/
  3. Diabetes Action Plan. The Diabetes Alliance. https://thephysicianalliance.org/images/FilesDocuments/April2017_DiabetesActionPlan_Final.pdf
  4. Telemonitoring and Health Counseling for Self-Management Support of Patients With Type 2 Diabetes: A Randomized Controlled Trial. JMIR. https://diabetes.jmir.org/2017/1/e10/
  5. Telemedicine and Diabetes Care. American Diabetes Association. http://www.diabetesforecast.org/2018/02-mar-apr/telemedicine-and-diabetes.html
  6. Virtual Visits With Your Doctor – Pants Optional! Taking Control of Your Diabetes. https://tcoyd.org/2020/03/virtual-visits-with-your-doctor-pants-optional/
Poll
Who Helps You the Most in Managing Diabetes?
couple-power-walking-in-park
Your spouse or partner
Smiling African American family
Family and friends
african-american-male-doctor-smiling
Your doctor
Your spouse or partner
%
Family and friends
%
Your doctor
%
You Might Also Like